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Thanks to his screen roles, the actor John Wayne epitomized the American spirit for many people. He often portrayed the ideal frontiersman or soldier; strong, decent, and courageous. Wayne’s real character was much more complicated than his screen persona or the subsequent legends that sprang up about him. One lesser-known fact about the man is that he converted to Catholicism two days before his death from cancer. John Wayne’s journey to the Catholic faith began long before his last days, however.

© John Wayne image: Public domain | Monument Valley: Zhukova Valentyna | Shutterstock | Collage by Aleteia